Daniel Jeremiah Projects the 49ers to Draft WR Xavier Worthy in Round 1

Worthy set an NFL Combine when he ran a 4.21 40-yard dash earlier this year, so he obviously would add tons of top-end speed to an offense that lacks it. But would Worthy really be a good fit with Brock Purdy?
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) celebrates a play in the fourth quarter of the Sugar
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) celebrates a play in the fourth quarter of the Sugar / Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA

Here's a surprise.

Most draft analysts project the 49ers to take an offensive lineman or a defensive lineman in Round 1. but NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah has gone against the grain and projected the 49ers to take Texas wide receiver Xavierty Worth with pick no. 31.

"This is my favorite fit in the first round," Jeremiah writes. "We saw what Tank Dell did in a similar offensive system with Houston, and we know what Mike McDaniel has been able to build with so much speed at receiver in Miami. Worthy gives Kyle Shanahan a similar weapon."

Worthy set an NFL Combine when he ran a 4.21 40-yard dash earlier this year, so he obviously would add tons of top-end speed to an offense that lacks it. But would Worthy really be a good fit with Brock Purdy?

Purdy lacks a strong arm, his deep passes have a flat trajectory and he doesn't throw them often. So spending a first-round pick on a wide receiver to which Purdy would throw only a handful of passes a game seems unlikely.

Purdy wants to throw anticipatory passes over the middle -- that's what he does best. He needs receivers who can make acrobatic catches in traffic with bodies around them. That's not Worthy. That's someone like Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings or George Kittle.

If the 49ers want a speed receiver to clear space underneath for other receivers and catch the occasional deep pass, they can put Danny Gray on the field -- that's what they drafted him to do.

I'd be shocked if the 49ers were to draft Worthy in Round 1.


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN